Thursday, April 5, 2012

Alma Woodsey Thomas Paint Chip Collages

Iris, Tulips, Jonquils, and Crocuses by Alma Woodsey Thomas

Recently I was introduced to the life and work of southern artist Alma Woodsey Thomas. She was a highly-educated former art teacher who used tiny brushstrokes to create exciting works of art that seemed to move in front of you! For more information on her life and work (as well as how her artwork didn't make it into the White House, you can read here).

My fifth graders used cut-up pieces of paint chip samples and I let them make whatever design they wished. This project proved tedious, but it was PERFECT for some antsy fifth graders!

Over at the Clever Feather she had them do replicas of Thomas' Eclipse, which were beautiful!

Not only was this a study of beautiful artwork, it was a study about a beautiful woman. The kids knew she was born and raised at a time when blacks weren't "considered human" (their words, not mine), and were in awe of her perserverence, education, and determination to "make it". This is a story they can't hear enough.

This project has been featured on Red Ted's Art Blog as a part of her feature on teaching children about famous artists post. It is a wonderful resource, please head on over and check it out!



  1. i've missed your posts!!!! glad you're back:)

    1. awwwww, shux and thanks! i had a in the art room and a typing finger has been incapacitated for a bit :)

      thanks for thinking of me!

  2. another question- does home depot, etc frown on the taking of aforeblogged paint chips?? would love to do this one!

    1. my mantra- seek forgiveness and not permission. JUST KIDDING. kind of. actually, i live very close to a HD and pop in when i get a spare moment on multiple trips. i cut each sheet into 1/4ths so one sheet goes quite a distance!

      i'd say that for each student they'd use 4-5 full sheets of paint sample EACH (i have 125 5th graders, you do the math!), but like i said, between my husband's handy-man-ish ways and me popping in, i've always got these on hand!

      good luck!

  3. ok- not bad- i have 2 kids who would do this- so i would just need 10 sheets:)

  4. Cool project ideas! I've always liked and admired Alma's work.